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COLLECTION Identifier: A/B174a

Letter of Emily Greene Balch, 8 March 1947


Letter from pacifist and social reformer Emily Greene Balch to Brand Blanshard.


  • 1947


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Emily Greene Balch as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


1 folder

Collection consists of a letter from Emily Greene Balch to philosopher Brand Blanshard thanking him for his kindness towards her. She notes, "...I am finding old age a surprisingly rich experience. I have had more praise in the last weeks than anybody can expect to digest or to deserve."


Emily Greene Balch was born in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, in 1867, the daughter of Francis V. and Ellen (Noyes) Balch. Her father was a lawyer and had served as secretary to United States senator Charles Sumner. She was a member of Bryn Mawr College's first graduating class in 1889. She continued her studies in Paris and Berlin, as well as at the University of Chicago and Harvard University, and also worked with Vida Scudder at Denison House in Boston. In 1896, she began teaching at Wellesley College, focusing on immigration, consumption, and the economic roles of women. In 1913, she was promoted from associate professor to professor of political economy and of political and social science. Wellesley College ended her contract in 1919.

Balch was involved in many humanitarian and civic organizations, including the first state commission on minimum wages for women, Henry Ford's International Committee on Mediation, and the Boston Women's Trade Union League. She supported the civil liberties of conscientious objectors during both world wars. In 1919, Balch played a key role in the founding of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, serving as the League's first international secretary-treasurer. She created branches of the League in over fifty countries and collaborated with the League of Nations on issues including immigration and disarmament. She remained a pacifist and a worker for social reform throughout her life, winning the 1946 Nobel Peace Prize for her work with the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. Balch died in 1961.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 83-M164

The papers of Emily Greene Balch were donated to the Schlesinger Library by Brand and Roberta (Yerkes) Blanshard in 1979.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Emily Greene Balch Papers, 1915 (A/B174).

Processing Information

Processed: August 1983

By: Mary S. Neumann

Updated and additional description added: January 2022

By: Susan Earle, with the assistance of Erin LaBove

The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.  Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by the Sibyl Shainwald Fund at the Schlesinger Library and the Class of 1955 Manuscript Processing Fund.

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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